Muscat: Ooredoo’s OMR124 million in investments have tipped the balance as the company consolidated its business growth despite stiff competition, its Chief Executive Officer told Times of Oman in an exclusive interview.
Ooredoo continues to focus on operations in its core business and the company is successfully building new paths to market innovations and new solutions.
“As an operator, we continue to invest heavily in telecommunications infrastructure, to expand our network and deliver on our commitment to adopting new and up-to-date-technologies. Now covering almost 99 per cent of the population, we have invested over OMR124 million in terms of network modernisation since 2012, which upgrades our network’s capacity in terms of both coverage and capabilities, ensuring that local communities are connected,” said Greg Young, CEO of Ooredoo.
It was a good year of overall growth and profits for Ooredoo in 2015. It earned a net profit of OMR41.6 million last year up 9.8 per cent compared to 2014.
“In 2015, Ooredoo had a total of 2.78 million customers of which 2.5 million were prepaid and 206,000 were post-paid. Our customer base grew by 7 per cent and (gross) revenue increased by 11 per cent. Furthermore, our brand equity reached an all-time high,” Young added.
2015 also saw Ooredoo achieve 18 per cent market share in fixed services and 99 per cent mobile service coverage of the population. We saw too a healthy upswing in fixed service customers – up 13 per cent between June and September alone – driven by a large take-up of home broadband services.
Ooredoo achieved 18 per cent market share in fixed services and 99 per cent in the mobile coverage of the population.
The healthy upswing in fixed service customers was driven by large subscriptions of home broadband services.
On top of that success, Ooredoo continues to make steady progress in its mission towards becoming the telecom provider of choice to the Government, by supporting the Sultanate’s e-Government strategy and improving data sharing to the public services.
But Ooredoo is not without challenges. Improvement of technology, introduction of new products, innovation of customer experience and to continue investing more money in operations will remain to be a priority.
“Across our industry, the main challenge is determining the optimum time for the introduction of new products and services. It involves considering consumer readiness and demand and balancing this with a host of other factors including investment cycles, availability of devices and supporting services. It requires strategic planning, monitoring of global trends, and close engagement with our technology partners and overseas operator peers. I could say it is a science but there are certainly elements of art there too,” the chief executive officer explained.
Ooredoo’s next five-year plan includes the modernisation of its network. It will concentrate of expanding to the rural areas of the country to cover as many towns as possible. Optimising costs and productivity to cater for the supply and demand of the market will be the anchor of the next five-year period.
“Boosting coverage in the Sultanate’s rural areas will remain an important and ongoing endeavor and we will continue to expand coverage and 3G/4G service, balancing commercial priorities, investment return, and our own social and regulatory responsibilities. We will continue to compete aggressively, and will not deviate from our multi-year strategy of setting ambitious but achievable goals, a strategy that has proved highly effective to date,” Young concluded.